Jets add WR Schilens from Raiders

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
4:26
PM ET
Looking to add size and speed to their receiving corps, the New York Jets agreed to terms Friday with former Oakland Raiders wideout Chaz Schilens.

Terms weren’t immediately available.

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Schilens, along with Drew Stanton, became the Jets’ first free-agent acquisitions. He also drew interest from the Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers.

Despite only 72 receptions in four seasons, Schilens will get a chance to compete for Plaxico Burress’ old starting job. The 6-foot-5 Burress, who tied for the team leader with eight touchdown catches last season, is a free agent and unlikely to return.

The Jets’ receiving corps, which has undergone considerable upheaval in recent years, includes Santonio Holmes, slot receiver Jeremy Kerley and backup Patrick Turner. They entered free agency looking for a complement to Holmes, preferably a big target with deep speed -- and Schilens has those attributes. He entered the league with sub-4.4 speed in the 40.

They’re also showing interest in former Jet Jerricho Cotchery, who was released last year (at his request) but told ESPNNewYork.com that he’d entertain an offer to return.

Schilens will be reunited with his former position coach in Oakland, Sanjay Lal, hired recently as the Jets’ receivers coach.

The Jets didn’t get involved with any of the high-priced free agents such as Vincent Jackson and Robert Meacham, opting to go cheap at their No. 2 receiving spot. They did so knowing there’s a chance they could use a high draft pick on a receiver.

Schilens, a seventh-round pick of the Raiders in 2008, won a starting job midway through his rookie year, but he couldn’t stay healthy. He missed 19 games in 2009 and 2010 because of injuries, including a broken foot.

“He has tools, just injury and durability concerns,” said an AFC personnel executive, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Because of his size, Schilens should be able to help in the red zone. The Raiders didn’t use him that much inside the 20, but he capitalized on his limited opportunities. He was targeted four times, resulting in four receptions for 49 yards and two touchdowns, according to ESPN Stats & Information.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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